One fine spring day at the city dump, a bald eagle sat beside a raven and they had a natter. So, what do you suppose birds talk about?
Probably the usual things. The weather, their families and what is good eating at the dump that day. After the small talk was over, maybe they waxed philosophically about current events. “So” the eagle said, “What’s with the humans. They sure are acting weird. Weirder than normal, which says a lot. Planes aren’t flying, cruise ships aren’t cruising, and most vehicles aren’t vehicling.”
“I know. I know,” crackled the Raven. “It’s almost like most of them have gone into some form of zombie hibernation. Is it like this everywhere?”
“Not everywhere.” mused the Eagle. “If you go far enough south, they are still out and about.”
“Yup, yup” The raven croaked.
The eagle then said “I usually don’t get close enough to humans, to hear what they are saying, I prefer to see them from afar. The farther, the better.”
The raven laughed as only ravens can. “Oh, I hear them a plenty. They talk about covids, whatever they are. Apparently, there is nineteen of them. And some people, are really really afraid of them. They talk about social distancing and self-isolation. Maybe, it’s a new form of religion or A potential political persuasion. The important thing, there has been no letup of grub at the dump, for us feather dinosaurs to share.”
The raven and the eagle laughed and then just sat at the dump, enjoying the day talking, From sunrise to sunset. Then the raven went to roost, and the eagle found a perch to sleep on.
The bald eagles fly north and build nests for the summer out on the land, usually near lakes where the fishing is good. If a fish is cruising in the lake, close to the surface, an eagle just may swoop down and have that fish for dinner. Then in the fall they head south to spend the winter in places that do not have ice or snow.
Ravens on the other hand, seem to stay in one area most of the time. There are ravens who hang out at the dump year-round. They are the dump raven clan. Then there are ravens that cruise around town looking for something to eat. They sometimes raid garbage cans and if you leave food bags in the back of you truck, they will go for those as well.
Then you have ravens who live out in the bush or on the barren lands. So, some ravens eat only natural foods and others eat only discarded human food. One time, in the winter, I even saw a raven in the Tim Hortons parking lot, eating a double double that had turned into a slushy.
When you contrast the life of the eagles, to ravens, they are quite different. So they probably see and comprehend humans differently. The same is probably true for all the other birds and critters that co-exist in our space.
Now consider the robin. Some seem to love human lawns and claim them as their own personal territory. Year after year generation after generation. So, you may own the house, but the robins feel they own your lawn. So, the robins should be paying the city, some form of property tax. The ravens should be taxed for living at the dump and the eagles should have to pay a nightly tourist fee. Maybe the various levels of government should really consider taxing the birds more and the humans less. Think about it, the birds are getting a free ride.
Nature is full of surprises and as humans battle the covids and try to exterminate them, don’t forget about all the other critters who may be affected. And I bet they are talking about us and our strange ways. Why wouldn’t they?